What's New?

Instruction Year

Legislative Update

The 2016 Legislative Summary is available online only.

Legislative changes are incorporated in the information below.

For tax year 2016, Iowa has not adopted federal Internal Revenue Code changes regarding the determination of income that occurred after January 1, 2015. This page may be updated pending future legislation.


Step 1

Dependent Child Health Care Coverage: The indication of whether dependents have health care coverage is mandatory and must be completed for 2016. Taxpayers who do not have health care coverage for their children may be eligible for the state medical assistance program or the hawk-i program. Dependent children already covered under the Medicaid or hawk-i programs are considered to have health care coverage. Those who indicate they do not have health care coverage will receive information about these programs.

Step 4

While Social Security benefits are not subject to Iowa income tax, the Reportable Social Security benefit amount is included in the alternate tax calculation worksheet and the tax reduction worksheet, as well as the calculation of whether sufficient income was earned in order to file an Iowa return. See the Social Security Worksheet under Step 4 of the instructions.

Step 5

Line 9 Taxable Pensions & Annuities – Retirement pay for military service in the United States Armed Forces, the Armed Forces Military Reserve, or the National Guard is eligible for exemption from Iowa income tax and is not included on line 9.  The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard make up the Armed Forces.  Only military retirement pay received from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), or a similar source, is eligible for the exemption.  Retirement pay received from other sources, including the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), does not qualify for the exemption.  In particular, retirement pay resulting from participation in the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) does not qualify for the exemption.

Line 14 Bonus Depreciation / Section 179 – Iowa has not coupled with the 50% bonus depreciation provisions for assets acquired in 2016. The section 179 limit for Iowa for tax year 2016 is $25,000. The phase-out threshold is $200,000.

Step 6

Line 23 Iowa Capital Gain Deduction – If any deduction is reported on this line, the applicable Capital Gain Deduction form (IA 100A – IA 100F) must be completed and included with the return. Each eligibility category has a separate form.

Line 24 Adjustments

  • College Savings Iowa or Iowa Advisor 529 Plan: The deductible amount for tax year 2016 cannot exceed $3,188 per beneficiary. Beginning with tax year 2015, individuals making a contribution on or before the Iowa income tax return filing deadline (April 30 for calendar year tax filers), excluding extensions, can elect to have that contribution treated as though it was made on the last day of the preceding calendar year, which allows them to claim the income tax deduction for the most recently completed tax year. Prior to tax year 2015, contributions had to be made during the calendar year in order to be deductible on the Iowa return for that year. Beginning with tax year 2016, tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations under IRC section 501(c)(3) were added to the list of entities that can open and contribute to an individual’s Iowa College Savings 529 Plan on behalf of that individual.  An individual can take an itemized deduction for the contribution to the 501(c)(3) if the individual did not designate the contribution be used for the direct benefit of any dependent of the individual or the individual did not designate any single beneficiary.
  • Iowa ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Savings Plan Trust: Beginning on or after January 1, 2016, contributions to a qualified ABLE savings plan trust made on or after July 1, 2015, on behalf of a designated beneficiary, are deductible from Iowa individual income tax up to a maximum amount, $3,188, allowed per beneficiary per year for purposes of the Iowa education savings plan trust in Iowa Code chapter 12D.  Interest and earnings income from ABLE are exempt from Iowa individual income tax.
  • Since tax year 2011, members of the armed forces, armed forces military reserve, and the national guard in an active duty status can exclude pay received from the federal government for military service performed.
  • Beginning with tax year 2016, out-of-state businesses and individuals performing disaster or emergency-related work in Iowa are not subject to Iowa income tax or withholding. The disaster response period starts ten days before the state-declared or presidential-declared disaster and ends sixty days after the end of the declared state disaster or emergency. 

Step 7

Line 27 Federal Income Tax Refund Received in 2016

See line 27 instructions for items which are not required to be included on line 27 as part of your federal tax refund.

Federal Taxes

Federal income tax includes the net investment income tax on Federal Form 8960 and additional Medicare tax withholding from line 24 of Federal Form 8959.

Taxpayers can deduct their entire withholding, estimated payment, and additional federal tax paid amounts on lines 31, 32, and 33, but certain amounts must be added back on line 28. See line 28 instructions for items which are required to be included on line 28.

It is acceptable to report on line 28 either the current year’s self-employment/household employment tax/other federal taxes or the prior year’s, as long as the reporting method is consistent from one year to the next.

FICA Amount - FICA payments for tax year 2016 in excess of $7,347.00 for Social Security tax for each person can be deducted as a federal tax payment.

Step 8

Line 37 Deduction

Standard Deduction for tax year 2016:

  • Filing Status 1: $1,970
  • Filing Status 3 & 4: $1,970 for each spouse
  • Filing Status 2, 5 or 6: $4,860

Itemized Deduction

All taxpayers choosing to itemize deductions must complete the Iowa Schedule A.  The federal Schedule A can no longer be used with the Iowa return.

There is a limitation on the amount of itemized deductions that can be claimed for certain high-income taxpayers. The calculation is done on the Iowa Itemized Deductions Worksheet, form IA104.

If one spouse itemizes deductions, then both spouses must itemize, even if separate Iowa returns are filed.

Deductions for the following are taken on line 27 of the Iowa Schedule A:

  • Expenses incurred for care of a disabled relative
  • Adoption expenses – excluding expenses eligible for the Adoption Tax Credit calculated on the IA 177 Adoption Tax Credit form.
  • Charitable mileage – Iowa charitable mileage formula uses 39 cents.

Step 9

Line 39 Tax from Tables or Alternate Tax – For purposes of the alternate tax, include reportable Social Security benefits from Step 4 and the pension exclusion from line 21. Do not include military retirement pay in the calculation of alternate tax.

Line 50 Out-of-State Tax Credit – Individuals using filing status 3 (Married Filing Separately on a Combined Return) or status 4 (Married Filing Separate Returns) must complete a separate form IA 130 for each spouse.

Line 52 Other Nonrefundable Iowa Credits – The Iowa solar energy system tax credit is 50% of the federal solar energy credit. A tax credit certificate is required in order to claim the credit. To receive a certificate, an application must have been filed with the Department of Revenue before May 1, 2017.

Line 57 Reminder - Checkoffs

  • Fish & Wildlife Fund
  • Iowa State Fair Foundation
  • Combined:  Veterans Trust Fund / Volunteer Firefighter Preparedness Fund
  • Child Abuse Prevention Program Fund

Step 10

Line 62 Other Refundable Credits – To make a claim to the adoption tax credit equal to the first $2,500 of unreimbursed expenses related to an adoption per each child adopted in Iowa, the IA 177 must be completed and included with the return beginning in tax year 2016.

Line 64 Reserved & Line 65  Taxpayers Trust Fund Tax Credit - Both lines will be zero.

Step 11

Line 74 Interest Rate 2017

5% per year; 0.4% per month

Step 13

The Department will now allow electronic signing of the Declaration for e-File Return Form via remote transaction.  This allows a taxpayer to electronically sign a Declaration for e-File Return form when the Electronic Return Originator is not physically present with the taxpayer. 

Other News

DUE DATE: May 1, 2017

Farmers and fishers due date: If at least 2/3 of income is from farming or commercial fishing, penalty for underpayment of estimated tax may be avoided in one of the following ways: (1) Pay the estimated tax in one payment on or before January 17, 2017, and file the Iowa income tax return by May 1, 2017, or (2) File the Iowa income tax return and pay the tax due in full on or before March 1, 2017.

Payment Options:

Direct Debit payment with the income tax return.

ePay (free direct debit) individual income tax estimated payments and final payment of individual income tax through the Department’s online eFile & Pay system free of charge. 
Credit / debit card: Fee is charged by the third-party vendor. Our website has information and links.

MoneyGram: Pay with cash at MoneyGram locations.

Check / money order: Send with IA 1040V payment voucher.

Power of Attorney Form: The Federal Power of Attorney form or a Military Power of Attorney is accepted by the Iowa Department of Revenue. To be valid, the Federal or Military form must include a statement that it is applicable for Iowa purposes at the time it is executed. In the case of a previously executed Federal or Military Power
of Attorney subsequently revised to apply for Iowa purposes, it must contain a written statement that indicates it is being submitted for use with State of Iowa forms and the statement needs to be initialed by the taxpayer.

Iowa allows married taxpayers to file one Iowa Power of Attorney form on behalf of both spouses. The IRS requires separate Power of Attorney forms for each spouse. If the Federal Power of Attorney is being used for Iowa purposes by married taxpayers, both federal forms must be submitted to Iowa.

Fillable Forms
Many of the online forms on the Department website are fillable. If using Adobe Reader Version 11, the form can now be saved after it is filled out.

Supporting Documentation:

  • Include all necessary supporting information, but do not staple to the return.
  • Place documents in the following order

    1. Check or Money Order
    2. Payment Voucher (1040V)
    3. W-2s / 1099s
    4. IA 1040
    5. Iowa schedules, forms, and supporting documentation
    6. Copy of complete Federal return